A major restoration project has just been completed at Chadwick’s Builders Centre on Thomas Street. The iconic arch into the yard, originally constructed for Kellys Timber, has been meticulously repaired and refurbished by Chadwick’s as the first part of an ongoing programme to renovate the street front of this well-known business.
The works were undertaken by ACOL Ltd, best known for the recent restoration of the facade of the Shelbourne Hotel. This project also entailed the repair of Roman stucco cement, the decorative plasterwork of the arch. Much of the stucco work has failed and the lack of flashing at the top of the arch meant that water was seeping into the main structure causing further damage.
The arch had been visibly degrading for a number of years but now stands as a unique statement piece for Thomas Street and a visible marker of the street’s ongoing revival.
Originally built in 1861, the monumental arch with imposing Doric columns was conceived as the entrance to Kellys, a well known timber merchants on the street until the mid-20thC. The restoration revealed older lettering on the arch pointing to its past but hidden behind modern signs: ‘City Saw Mills’ and ‘Timber and Slate Stores’. Quite a statement for this type of business, even in its 19thC heyday. This old lettering has now been revealed for all to see.
Further phases of work will see new gates installed to the arch, while a redesign of the adjoining shopfront is also being considered.
The restoration work to the Arch was funded by Chadwick’s and supported by Dublin City Council‘s Shopfront Improvement Scheme for The Liberties and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme. The project is one of a number of refurbishment projects taking place on Thomas Street at present, adding to the sense of renewal on one of Dublin’s oldest commercial streets.